by Emily McBride
(last updated January 2, 2017)
If you are in the process of buying a vacuum, one decision you have to make is whether you want a bagged or bagless vacuum. In a traditional bagged vacuum, air flows in and out of the bag while the bag works as a filter to trap the dirt and being sucked up. The bag works as a filter while the air flows in. Bagless vacuums use a filter to trap the dust and dirt.
When a vacuum bag fills up it needs to be replaced, simply remove the bag and throw it away. Bags aren't expensive, and they don't make a lot of mess. The main downside is that it is easy to forget when to change the bags. Some bagged vacuums now come with lights to show when the bag needs to be changed.
Instead of using a bag, a bagless vacuum has a dirt cup or chamber that fills up with dust and dirt. You can see when it is filling up. Then, you just take the part of the vacuum out and dump the dust and dirt in the garbage. Having a chamber instead of bag can come in handy if you accidentally vacuum something that you need to retrieve. A downside is that it can be messy to dump the dirt cup or chamber because the dirt and dust can be released into the air.
That's easy enough, but bagless vacuums also have a filter that needs to be changed. Some filters can be scrubbed and cleaned, but many require that you buy a filter replacement instead. Because of this, it might seem nice to have a bagless vacuum without a filter. However, if this is the case, the small particles of dirt in the carpet are actually just circulating into the air instead of being sucked into the vacuum.
There is a lot of differing opinion on whether a bagged or bagless vacuum is better. The best thing to do is to research particular brands and models of vacuums instead of basing your decision on whether the vacuum is bagged or bagless. Factors that may be more important include the power of the vacuum and the ratings it has received. The most popular brands of bagless vacuums are Hoover, Dirt Devil, Bissell, Eureka, and Dyson. Vacuums are continually getting to be better and better, so the downsides of both bagged and bagless vacuums may decrease in the future.
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